Is dating down possible?

Screenshot anime Ore no Kanojo

“Why do I have to reduce myself to the level of [dating] such rubbish?” ┬áIt is a good question. Various people have given this some thought.

Another Quora question!

What is it like to date up or date down? Or in general, date someone who is not on your social/intellectual level?

Many of the answers took some degree of offense to the very notion of dating up and down, and reasonably so. If you really thought the other person below you, you probably would not date them in the first place, unless it was some sort of entertainment or something. Usually people have different strengths, so you may be “above” in one category and “below” in another.

For instance, imagine I had the opportunity to date an otherwise sane woman who was debt-free, had a million-dollar house, a great car, lived in a good neighborhood. But suppose she had an average mind, an IQ of 100 and normal human interests. Perhaps she had inherited the money, or won a lottery, or just been lucky with some decision earlier in her life. Who of us would be dating up and who would be dating down? I am barely middle-class by Norwegian standards, but a tried and tested genius with boundless curiosity and some creativity as well. Chances are we would both think we were dating down, so it is unlikely there would be a second date.

The same applies if I were to date a strikingly beautiful woman, someone who made a living off her looks and was looked up to for that. Like money, looks is something I don’t have and sincerely prefer to live without, as they attract the wrong (stupid) kind of attention. So that would probably be a very short relationship, to say the least.

It gets a little different if I met a woman who was an accomplished musician or singer. It is a talent I don’t have much of (or, in the case of singing, worse than nothing). But it is something I can respect and admire. A professional musician has spent thousands of hours practicing, so it is certainly something I can look up to.

The ideal dates, and marriages, are where both think the other is “up”. That is evidently not uncommon, although it sometimes fades after a while. But it is rare that there is a standard which both agree on and yet one of them condescends to dating the loser repeatedly. It does not really make much sense.

Of course, I may be wrong, since dating is a bit outside my circle of interests. Anyway, you can read a number of personal testimonies on the matter on Quora. See you there someday, perhaps?

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